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Exhaust-ing £40 Penalties: Brighton’s New Fines for Idling Cars

In an effort to tackle air pollution and promote better health, Brighton & Hove Council is set to enforce new regulations against engine idling starting 2 January. Motorists will now face a £40 fine if they leave their vehicles running while parked, a measure decided upon at the June meeting of the City Environment, South Downs & The Sea Committee.

Idling engines are a significant source of air pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter, often producing up to twice the emissions of a moving engine. These pollutants pose serious health risks, particularly to those with long-term conditions like asthma.

The enforcement, which applies to vehicles parked in bays, taxi ranks, and other roadside areas, is part of the council’s broader initiative to improve air quality and move towards carbon neutrality. However, it does not apply to vehicles caught in traffic.

To inform the public, new signage has been installed throughout the city. These signs, which feature messages like “cut engine, cut pollution,” aim to remind drivers of the new rule. In a bid to encourage prompt compliance, the council offers a reduced fine of £20 if paid within 10 days.

Enforcement will be carried out by Environmental Enforcement Officers. Upon witnessing a car idling, officers will approach the driver, inform them of the offense, and issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). In cases where drivers refuse to cooperate or attempt to drive away, Sussex Police will be contacted to assist in obtaining the necessary details for issuing the FPN through the post.

Councillor Tim Rowkins, chair of the City Environment, South Downs & The Sea Committee said: “Improving the city’s air quality is extremely important, especially for those who suffer from long term respiratory conditions like asthma and lung disease.

“Enforcing engine idling is something we hope will deter motorists from releasing harmful emissions unnecessarily. We’re asking those parked up to switch off their engines and reduce air pollution.

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